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Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome: Deus Ex Biblos

Two things should be expected when going into a Nippon Ichi developed strategy RPG (SRPG): an-off-the-wall story and a complex battle system. Makai Kingom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome, fits both of the these requisites to perfection and once again delivers a SRPG experience unlike any other.

Makai Kingdom takes place in the netherworld, which is ruled by an arrogant ruler, Lord Zetta. After the oracle, Pram, tells him that his rule is about to come to an end, Lord Zetta sets out to find a sacred tome that contains a record of all events past, present and future. Zetta?s fears are confirmed through the tome, and in his rage he destroys it. In a twist of fate, the book?s destruction begins the destruction of Zetta?s kingdom.

In a last attempt to save his kingdom, Zetta merges with the tome. His actions save the world, but leave it as an empty void. Pram and the rest of Zetta?s demon generals set out to find the newly changed lord. Meanwhile, Zetta sets into motion a plot to raise an army and recreate the world in his own image.

Makai Kingdom owes a lot to Phantom Brave as far as calling new units into battle and combat, so fans of that game should be well versed in how action plays out.

You begin each battle on a barren battlefield littered with rocks, limbs, and other small objects. These objects are key to your battle plan as you?ll have to bind souls to each item in order to create soldiers. Each item has a set of attributes that transfer to the unit you bind it to. For example, binding a warrior spirit to a rock will give that unit added defense, whereas binding that same warrior spirit to a flower will add a different attribute (magic resistance, more HP,?)

True to all SRPGs, movement and battles are turn-based. Instead of using a grid-based movement system, characters instead move within a ring that denotes movement ranges. Characters can stop at any time within the ring and attack other units as long as they are in range. Each unit type has weapons and spells with various ranges. Some attacks even do area damage, allowing you to attack numerous enemies at once (provided they?re close together). Weapons in Makai Kingdom aren?t limited to swords and arrows, but also include various types of guns, missiles and even a UFO. Yeah?

By now you?re probably asking, what?s Makai Kingdom?s crazy new battle mechanic? After accomplishing certain goals during battle, you?ll earn the ability to build structures like hospitals and weapons shops. While on the field, buildings grant special attributes to units that are inside.

Wait, inside?

Not only are buildings good for giving you bonuses, but they can also be used as troop transports. Each building has an occupancy limit that tells how many units can be placed inside. After loading up a building, another character can lift the building and hurl it across the battlefield. You can then choose to unload all of the units inside the building, allowing you to quickly move a powerful force into enemy territory.

The addition of structures to combat adds a completely new level of strategy. Buildings have hit points, so they can be destroyed. Lose your structure and lose its bonuses. In addition, buildings can also be captured by opposing forces?

Some may choose to call it quirky, others weird. Regardless of how you say it, Makai Kingdom is shaping up to be one of the year?s most unique RPGs. Nippon Ichi has already proven itself as the master of Strategy RPGs, and so far, Maki Kingdom looks like it should uphold that legacy.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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